Making Hay While the Sun Shines
Hooray, Vermont has been getting some good weather for making dry hay! The weather has been very challenging this spring and summer, putting all cropping well behind schedule. In my part of Vermont, the dew hasn’t been very heavy, allowing us to get out in the hayfields fairly early in the day; tedding, raking and baling right up until dewfall.
The saying “Make hay while the sun shines” is so fitting! The thing is, are you protecting yourself from the sun? Sunscreen and protective clothing are necessary if you are on an open-station tractor. When buying sunscreen, make sure it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Make sure the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is a minimum of 30. Use the sunscreen generously and frequently. 20 to 30 minutes before you head out, apply at least one ounce (the amount it takes to fill a shot glass) to all exposed skin parts. Rub it in well. Reapply every 2 hours. Wear a wide-brim hat for added protection. Wear sunglasses that are rated for UVA and AVB protection.
I can already hear you grumbling.
“Sunscreen is greasy, I’m like a dust and chaff magnet.”
There are non-greasy sunscreens on the market.
“I don’t have time.”
Make time; at breakfast, lunch, any work break. There are sunscreen towelettes available.
“I always wear a hat.”
Those caps from the co-op, the feed dealer (and everyone else) shade just part of your face, they do nothing to protect your neck and ears.
Comment below if you have any other grumbling to share, I’ll have an answer!
Being diligent about sun protection is no laughing matter. You are trying to prevent skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed type of cancer. The incidence of many common cancers is falling, but the incidence of skin cancer continues to rise. What do you need to look for in any mole or skin growth?
- Asymmetry: one half of the abnormal skin area or mole is different from the other half.
- Borders: irregular borders
- Color: varies from one area to another with shades of tan, brown, black and even sometimes white, red and blue.
- Diameter: larger than the diameter of a pencil eraser.
- Any skin growth that bleeds or will not heal.
Use a mirror or have someone help you look on your back, shoulders and other hard-to-see areas. Any suspicious mole, sore or skin growth should be looked at by a physician immediately.
Take care of yourself; by doing so you are taking care of your family.